Former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton’s front-runner status in the Democratic presidential primary fight was jolted Wednesday by a new and unexpected vulnerability: a financial one.

The more than $28 million that Clinton’s campaign announced Wednesday it had raised in the third quarter was nearly matched by the $26 million that Sen. Bernie Sanders brought in, thanks to small contributions that came in for him at a faster clip than even in President Obama’s campaigns.

As the midnight deadline loomed to collect third-quarter donations, Sanders’s passionate supporters raced to expand his total, raising the possibility that he might finish the quarter with more money in the bank than Clinton.

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